Now for the good news on how we can indeed control or combat the inevitable stress that occurs in our daily lives.
Our expert on this topic of stress is Mary Maynard, RN CHTP UZIT of Denver, Colorado. Here are her opinions and suggestions based on her medical training and experience on what we all can do to lead a healthier life by being proactive on controlling the stress in our lives.
WAYS TO DE-STRESS OUR LIVES
Doing Nothing is Really Doing Something….. not doing, planning or working allows our body to reset and heal. Vegging out is good for us!
De-stressing is not just about regulating our activities but also regulating what we are thinking about in our minds that control our body’s cortisol levels. Every thought has a chemical response in our bodies. Wow…that got my attention!
So doing nothing means allowing our minds to rest already! Turn off the circular thinking patterns that keep playing over and over again keeping us from truly shutting down.
What are some ways to do this?
1. Giving ourselves permission to do this “nothing” by stopping our habit of over-scheduling ourselves.
Examples would be enjoying a sunset or sunrise, watching birds, pets or enjoying nature even in our own yards or at a park or lake, of course being at the beach or in the mountains, or just sitting and relaxing doing absolutely nothing at all. And for sure it does not mean doing emails & etc right up until falling into bed!
2. Repetitive activities: Doing something very repetitive and familiar stimulates our relaxation response.
For me, I often do a yoga video at home and it is so relaxing because I know what is coming…no worries of learning or doing something new. ( Still love & need a yoga class)
For some, doing their rosary beads or traditional ritualistic church service or going to the same vacation spot…knowing what to expect and then can relax. Our ritual patterns help us to connect and not to stress about what is coming next.
3. Learn to respond and not to react to life, people, and circumstances. We cannot control others or what happens around us but we can most definitely control our responses. This is a really, really significant tool to lessen our stress.
The react or response reaction affect on stress is supported by science. We can see changes in our brain after 4-6 weeks of responding differently by cultivating new neurons from cultivating new responses. Seriously.
4. Celebrate our done “to do’s”. For most, our to do list is one of biggest stressors because of all that we see is not done. Mary says to celebrate what is done. That will go a long way to reduce our mostly self imposed stress.
Well, this certainly is by no means all there is to de-stressing our lives. But, it is a place to start and again, to me, this is my number one health goal for 2013, reducing my stress. Remember, stress is part of life…yours and mine. But oh my goodness, how we have accepted being crazy busy and never being done as living the new normal. Our poor mind, body, and spirit are so not in agreement with what we are believing and calling normal as this is just the way it is today.
We did not design our bodies and we cannot design a lifestyle to fit what we want to do versus what our bodies are capable of doing. It basically is just that simple…really.
The teacher always learns the most and I am here to admit that I am learning so much on the lethal effects of stress which is a huge contributor to inflammation on our entire being. I hope you join me on my quest to achieve more margin, balance, fun, relaxation, and acceptance of what is accomplished. I truly want this for myself and for you all too.
Living and loving life together,